The Road to National Suicide

by Philip Giraldi, January 27, 2011

It is not often that one sees an entire nation marching in lockstep to go over a cliff into an abyss, but that is essentially what the United States is doing at the moment.  Not only have there been strong hints from the Obama Administration that the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on into the dim future, but there is also no sign of any necessary course correction in other areas.  Israel, backed by Washington, continues its reckless policies and may be cranking up for a new war against Lebanon and Syria with the ultimate objective of involving its American patron in fighting against Iran.  Clearly President Obama is unwilling to take any risks by challenging existing policies.  He is edging towards what he perceives as the political center and is preparing to ride the status quo to electoral victory in 2012.

Consider the central dynamic of what the United States is engaged in.  Washington is committed to a series of asymmetrical wars that are literally taking place all over the world.  This is what the Obamaites now refer to as “overseas contingency operations.”  One might well ask contingent on what, but the words themselves quite likely are not considered to be really meaningful and are rather designed to constitute a reassuring euphemism.  One of these wars, in Afghanistan, is costing the US taxpayer $10 billion a month and is tying up more than 100,000 American soldiers.  Casualties are rising, most of Afghanistan has become insecure in spite of the effort, corruption and drug cultivation are rampant, and there is no end in sight.  To put the cost of the war in some kind of perspective, Afghanistan’s gross domestic product for 2009 was $22 billion, meaning that it is costing nearly six times more to “defend” each year than its total economic activity.  Asymmetrical indeed. Colonial empires of the past would have at least figured out how to turn a buck from their imperial endeavors, highlighting the cluelessness of Washington.  If there has ever been an example of a war that makes no sense, Afghanistan is it.

The stated purpose of fighting in Afghanistan is to keep the country from becoming a base for terrorism but the premise is deeply flawed.  Terrorists can literally go anywhere and do not necessarily need a geographic base.  If they choose, they can even disappear for a time, sitting quietly and waiting for the situation to change in their favor.  Also, fighting them in a foreign country is a fool’s errand, and not only because American soldiers and their leaders rarely grasp what is going on in any alien environment and nearly always make things worse rather than better.  No, the salient issue is that the militants will always have the upper hand in such an engagement because they benefit from three realities that give them a major advantage.  First, they are not bound to strategies coming out of a training manual and can actually learn and develop as they go along.  This has been described as “open source warfare.”  If you need a better and simpler improvised explosive device (IED), instructions for making one will soon appear on the internet as militant groups refine their tactics and share information.  When the advanced IED appears, the US government and its military industrial contractors will panic and overreact to the threat by building a newer and heavier vehicle to resist it.  The new vehicle will cost three times as much as the old vehicle, will take two years to design, and will get 300 yards per gallon of gas, which has to be trucked over the Hindu Kush mountains, where it is subject to attack by the insurgents.  As is frequently the case, that means that the conventional army is always finding itself at a disadvantage fighting the last war with the last war’s weapons waiting for the new weapons that will be obsolete when they arrive.

The foreign army will also invariably adhere to standard doctrine, which is to defend itself as a first priority.  That means it will always overreact when it is attacked.  Given the nature of guerrilla warfare, it will unleash its power against areas in which militants have inserted themselves among civilians, leading to avoidable deaths that will be used to win the propaganda war.  This serves as a recruiting poster for the insurgency.  So in the long run, with the invader beggaring himself fighting the wrong war and killing civilians, who is going to win the exchange?

Second, militants do not have to waste manpower and materiel by defending anything that could be attacked by the overwhelming force possessed by the conventional army.  They can concentrate on conserving resources by taking the offensive to hit soft targets, secure in the knowledge that even 100,000 highly trained and well equipped foreign soldiers cannot be everywhere.  When some contractor hired by USAID builds bridges or schools at great cost, it is a lot easier to blow them up a week or a month later than it was to build them.  The ability to do that type of damage produces a disproportionate result, sending a message that the government and its foreign allies are ineffective and cannot provide security.  It also tells the local population who is going to win in the long run and it won’t be the boys from Washington.  They understand that eventually the Great Power will lose its will to fight, will go broke, and will go home.

Third is the issue of overall strategy.  Modern conventional armies are designed to inflict devastating damage on a concentrated opponent with the intention of causing mass casualties and ending the enemy’s ability to continue to resist.  When the enemy army is soundly defeated it surrenders, generally followed by the surrender of the national government that it represents.  But none of that applies in war against an insurgency or a group of militants, with the result that an aircraft carrier or a strategic bomber or a ballistic missile becomes worthless.  Such groups normally have only limited internal organization, operate essentially as “leader-less,” and a militant who is killed is quickly replaced at the local level.  If an operating base is destroyed or overrun, it is a simple matter to pick up one’s weapons and move to another.  If the war spreads to another region or country, it is also relatively easy to replicate the insurgency and its structure in the new area.  That is why there is no worldwide al-Qaeda movement, only national and regional groups that share the philosophy and methods of the parent organization.  The local franchises are driven by their own national and religious agendas, are self funding, and generally locally recruited.  They fade away when the local government or the US comes after them and then resurface when the pressure eases.  That is why they cannot be defeated, even if the United States spends the next twenty years trying to do so.

So what is the solution to the tactical and strategic challenges posed by terrorists and other militants?  Well, we could leave Iraq and Afghanistan and eschew any interest in intervening in Somalia and Yemen.  Instead of telling half the world how to run their governments, we could wish them all luck and announce our intention to disengage from foreign entanglements as quickly as possible.  There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any terrorist group would then follow us back home to wreak havoc.  On the contrary, it is most likely that we would be left alone.  And we could be saving all that money we are spending accomplishing absolutely nothing overseas and begin to put our own economy back together by cutting defense spending by a half or even more.  Minus an international threat, we could also disband the Department of Homeland Security, starting with the odious Transportation Security Administration.  Yes, that would do it.  An America at peace with itself and putting its own house in order.  I rather suspect that the entire world would applaud such a change.  Of course, if we don’t do it, we can continue to be the lemmings charging over the cliff.

  1. #1 by Steve Wiseman on 01/27/2011 - 9:34

    I have no doubt all that you say is true. However the truth of the Afghan war, and all wars, is that wars are a big, huge, enormous business. That’s why we have them. That’s the important point missing from this essay. There is no other event, not space exploration, not health, not internal construction of roads, bridges, schools, not helping the poor, not helping our manufacturing… nothing…..that allows the elite to rob the common American people of their money more than war…Oh, except for the banking fraud…

    That’s why Woodrow Wilson was bullied into getting into the European WW1, which, by the way, the Europeans were ready to call off in 1916, having lost about 8 million young men in total by that time… War was the main reason FDR worked so hard to create the Japanese War…The Japs , never in a million years, would have taken on the Americans if it hadn’t been for FDR’s dirty tricks. They were not fools…That’s why the Elite created their phony 9-11…( steel buildings do not fall down because of fire, never has, never will…) All wars are economic…

    The Afghan war, however, has a bonus attached to it besides war money. It is also the heart of the soon to be trillion dollar a year drug trade…that is just too much to give up…Drugs and war money- the USA will be in Afghanistan forever…and the USA will continue to have their wars until the masses stop taking drugs or they wise up about wars…And that’s not going to happen in our lifetime…

  2. #3 by Bill In Ohio on 01/28/2011 - 9:34

    Afganis are prepared to fight the Zionist Hordes for 100 years and will do just that.

    In the end, history will show that once again, Afganistan is inconquerable.

    And Americans will learn that those that dont learn from history……

  3. #4 by barney838 on 01/28/2011 - 9:34

    Great article! Amen to what Steve Wiseman wrote! But there’s more to these wars than war.
    It is about national suicide. The vast majority of American’s won’t get it even when all the buildings, roads, bridges, parks, forests, and farmland are owned by the international bankers. Americans live in la la land. Drugged on denial. They are poisoned with sports, religion, intertainment, TV, movies, gagets, phone texting, food, alcohol, cocaine, pot, heroine, sex, porn. They are brain dead. Stupid is what stupid does. American deserve what’s coming. The unfortunate thing is that the wee small number of us that see the “judge” a coming are stuck here with the rest of the stupids.

  4. #5 by B.A.Frémaux-Soormally on 01/28/2011 - 9:34

    Philip Giraldi, January 27, 2011

    “It is not often that one sees an entire nation marching in lockstep to go over a cliff into an abyss, but that is essentially what the United States is doing at the moment.”

    I do not think the American “nation” is going over any cliff and into any abyss at all!


    Ever since, it has been a long story of hard and creative work, the best we could find on planet earth, but always accompanied with extermination of undesirable people which ended with the total corruption of all Christian morals.

    We must FORGET about America (and kick her out from all our lands as much as we can and as humanly possible) and concentrate on Apartheid Israel who America gave some 800 nuclear bombs ready to be unleashed on Mankind at any time by the crazy and degenerate Israelis!

    Iraq and Afghanistan OBEYED America instead of GOD. What happened to them?

    AMERICA is the worst nation this world has produced unless we ignore all the atrocities they committed (or their Bank Gangsters and their stooges like Lev Trotsky, RezaPahlavi, Saddam Hussain) during WWI, WWII, the Russian Revolution, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Palestinian, Cambodian, Iraqi and Afghan Hoocausts, and in Latin America!

    Charles de Gaulle said France was for nations to live FREE and kicked NATO out of his country, but Nicolas Sarkozy, the murderous Jew, betrayed De Gaulle and joined NATO and went on murdering the inhabitants of Afghanistan!

    As soon as Jews take over Christian Nations, they send the Goyim fighting their wars!

    Despite of all its GOOD, America is still an ABOMINATION!

    America hated the young Afghan Students (Taalibaan, Survivors of the Soviet Holocaust) who got rid of the CIA opium, of the rapists and sodomisers of young boys, of prostitution, for returnoing to Islam, because they wanted to use Afghan soil for FREE to grow their drugs and pass their oil pipelines not for the benefit of the American people but for the JEWS!



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